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Animal Crossing nerfed bug moneymakers, dataminers say

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Sorry, Flick

A villager in a room full of butterflies. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Nintendo’s desire to fine-tune the inflated Animal Crossing: New Horizons economy is no secret — upon downloading the latest patch, the game informs you that the Bank of Nook has decreased interest rates for player’s savings account. But that’s not all. According to dataminers, you might notice a huge change in spawn rates for bugs, too.

This information comes by way of data miner @_Ninji, who has correctly reported on updates and additions to the life sim in that past. Perusing through the code, _Ninji found that spawn rates for insects may have been unified. In layman’s terms, that means that rather than having specific months where a bug spawned more often, now they all have set rates during the months they are coded to appear.

But, more troubling is the discovery that all of the bugs which sold for good prices at shops have been nerfed to spawn less often. Peacock butterflies, emperor butterflies, and atlas moths have all been tinkered with such that they appear less. Tarantulas and scorpions seem to have been slashed to half of what their spawn rates used to be — though tarantula island, one of the most popular ways of farming bells, was already compromised last month thanks to stink bugs. (This scorpion and tarantula nerf detail in particular has also been confirmed by another well-known Nintendo data miner.)

A full table of the various adjustments can be found here. Personally, while playing today, I noticed an increase in stinkbugs — which makes sense, because apparently their spawn rates have been buffed to 100% according to _Ninji.

Granular adjustments like these are common for competitive games, but they’re surprising for a game like Animal Crossing. Then again, when you look at the wider economy, and how common it is for players to have millions upon millions of bells ... perhaps this was unavoidable. But, hey, at least the fish spawn rates are still the same!


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